- Excellent stats and graphics.
- Extensive course database, including international, at no extra cost.
- Nice distance-to-layup feature.
- iPhone has battery, water-resistance weaknesses.
Golfshot Brings it all Together in a Well-designed App
The Golfshot golf GPS app by Shotzoom software is among my picks for the five best golf GPS apps. I used it for a number of rounds in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Golfshot's claim to fame is its outstanding stats and graphics capability, but the rest of the program is very well designed, and competitive with anything in the iPhone App Store.
Golfshot's course database includes more than 15,000 international courses, and Golfshot accommodates new course requests.
Golfshot is "easy to use, understand, and share" as the company claims, but there is still a bit of a learning curve. I like the self-contained nature of the app; you can manage everything from the iPhone, and don't need to log into a Web site from your computer to see your stats, for example.
Using the Golfshot Golf GPS iPhone App
Golfshot's opening screen simply shows play golf, statistics, scorecards, and account. Selecting play golf uses the iPhone's GPS to find nearby courses, and lists the course's town and distance in miles. You may also search/browse courses elsewhere. After you arrive at your course, select your teebox and, if you wish, name the golfers in your group (up to four) for scorekeeping.
It can be difficult to break the pencil-and-paper habit, but I found the scorekeeping feature to be easy to use and very worthwhile for several reasons. The app's scorecard is automatically e-mailed to you (you can forward it to your group) when you finish and store your round. Also, scorekeeping, including noting fairways hit and number of putts, opens the door to Golfshot's excellent stats and graphics features. Based on your scoring and the course, Golfshot automatically calculates greens in regulation, sand saves, and scrambling percentages and presents them in nice pie graphs (only for you, not for the others in your foursome, although you may enter the number of putts per hole for others in your group). An auto-handicapping feature may also be turned on or off. Scoring is done via a little touch and spin wheel interface that makes good use of the iPhone's touch feature, and is a pleasure to use.
Golfshot on the Course
Your first screen when you start play shows you a number of yardages, depending on the hole distance and layout, including distance to the pin, bunker and water carries, and layup distances. I especially like the layup distances feature. You feel like you have a pro caddy with you when you have all of this info at your fingertips.
If you wish, you may switch to the aerial view (Golfshot uses aerial photographs, rather than illustrations), to show the overview. The aerial image will automatically zoom in as you advance, showing the green area for your approach. You may also manually zoom the image in or out. I also like the Golfshot's track your last shot distance capability.
Saving, Analyzing, E-mailing Your Round, and Summing up
Save your round when you're finished, and save your scorecard. Golfshot provides ongoing score and total info for your foursome during the round, and presents a nice scorecard graphic at completion of the round.
Golfshot also presents graphics for cumulative scoring for the last five or last 20 rounds. I'm not a stats hound, but Golfshot's graphics and ease of use won me over, and it provides terrific insights into your game and what you need to work on.
I found Golfshot's accuracy on the course to be very good, within a few yards of on-course markers.
There are some limitations to using an iPhone as a golf GPS. Keep in mind that the iPhone is not water-resistant, so you must protect it in the wet. An iPhone is also not as rugged as a dedicated golf GPS, which you can literally drench, throw around, and drop without worry. GPS apps for the the iPhone use a lot of power, but I was able to easily stretch battery life over a round. One key is to click the iPhone sleep button after you score each hole. Golfshot also suggests other battery-stretching tips, such as turning off WiFi. One nice feature: if a call happens to come in during your round (you won't answer it, right?) it will interrupt the Golfshot app, but the app will resume where you left off on call decline or hangup.
There are several versions of Golfshot in the App Store, so look for "Golfshot: Golf GPS" to get the version reviewed here. Overall, Golfshot is an extremely useful, accurate, and fun-to-use app with stats features that provides useful insights into your game.